Developments in the Sandusky scandal
Report: New victims come forward
About 10 new suspected victims of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky have come forward to authorities, The New York Times reported, citing sources.
Police are working to confirm the allegations, the paper said. Sgt. Anthony Manetta, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Police, neither confirmed nor denied the report.
“We’ve received multiple calls with lead information,” Manetta said. “Each of those calls [is] being followed up for veracity. We’re not putting a number out there.”
Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator for the Penn State football team, was charged on Nov. 5 with sexually abusing eight young boys over more than a decade. Prosecutors said he met all his alleged victims through The Second Mile, a nonprofit program for disadvantaged youth he founded in 1977. He has denied the charges.
Casey calls for congressional examination of reporting laws
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., wants congressional colleagues to examine federal laws requiring a witness of sexual abuse to report it to police. He also plans to introduce legislation.
Casey said the situation at Penn State “warrants an immediate review of the relationship between federal and state reporting requirements on child abuse and neglect under [the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act].”
A Senate panel strengthened the prevention and treatment act last year, “but gaps remain that leave victims of such crimes liable to fall through the cracks,” Casey said. “Currently, only 18 states require all adults to report suspected child abuse, and Pennsylvania is not one of them.”
Casey said he plans legislation “to require states to improve their mandated reporter laws to ensure that all adults recognize their legal responsibility to report suspected child abuse.”
— Colby Itkowitz
A call for action
HARRISBURG — State lawmakers and child advocates urged swift action Tuesday on House and Senate bills aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse.
To drive home the point, a Philadelphia lawmaker shared her own story.
“I discovered someone in bed with me,” said Rep. Louise Bishop, D-Philadelphia, who revealed that she was abused by her stepfather while still a young girl. “Because he was such a friend, I didn’t know how to react. There was fear.”
Bishop and her colleagues called for action on bills that would lift the statute of limitations on sex crimes, open a two-year window for the filing of civil cases, regardless of when the alleged offense occurred, and tighten the reporting requirements for alleged cases of abuse.
— John L. Micek
Go beyond the scoreboard
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